RECAP: Chris Sale owns the city of Toronto; #RedSox guarantee series win with 7-1 victory.

Remember back in April, when the Red Sox made their first trip to Toronto and Chris Sale threw eight shutout innings? Well, it looks like Toronto has a Chris Sale problem, because Sale has yet to give up a single run north of the border this season. On Saturday, Sale pitched seven innings, allowed seven Blue Jays to reach base, and struck out eleven, yet another double-digit strikeout game. If you look at his numbers when he has pitched in Toronto this season, then you’ll see that he has struck out 24 over 15 IP, a resounding 14.4 K/9. There is no doubt that he is the ace, the guy who would get the ball for an important playoff game, not the guy who is getting paid $31 million dollars per year and can’t handle the media here. When Sale left after the seventh, there was really no pressure on the bullpen since they had a comfortable lead to work with. Blaine Boyer pitched a scoreless eighth, and Robby Scott gave up a solo home run while finishing things up in the ninth.

Offensively, scoring seven runs in back-to-back games looks pretty good. Hanley Ramirez, Chris Young, Sandy Leon, and Deven Marrero all had multi-hit games. Jackie Bradley Jr. drove in the first runs of the game, scoring Mookie Betts and Hanley on an RBI double in the first. Dustin Pedroia drove in another pair of runs in the second on another double, scoring Deven Marrero and Mookie Betts this time around. In the fifth, Mookie Betts scored again on a Xander Bogaerts sac fly. Bogaerts would also drive in the last runs of the game in the ninth, scoring Sandy Leon and Deven Marrero on an RBI single. Looking at the box score, it’s funny to see how Mookie Betts scored three runs without recording a single hit, which does not happen often. It looks like Hanley Ramirez has awoken from his first half slumber. On June 21st, Hanley was batting .239, after today’s game, it’s all the way up to .252. He hit 22 home runs after the All-Star break last season, and it looks like something similar to that could happen this season.

Three wins in a row, season-best eleven games over .500, could end the first half of the season on a hot streak. Drew Pomeranz makes the start for the finale tomorrow, then it’s on to Arlington to face the Rangers.

46 down, ? to go. 

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RECAP: Doug Fister has another nice start as #RedSox take game one from Jays 7-4 in extras.

After a quality start last Sunday, Doug Fister made his first road start for the Red Sox, and he put together another solid outing. The Blue Jays scored all their runs off of Fister in the first, but Fister settled in after that. The 33 year-old only allowed two hits total after the first, finishing with a line of 5 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, and 5 K’s. He didn’t qualify for a quality start since he didn’t pitch six innings, but I’d be dumb to criticize that kind of start from a back-end of the rotation guy. The bullpen pretty much held the Jays in check over the last six innings after Fister departed, as the only real blip was Troy Tulowitzki’s solo home run off of Heath Hembree in the sixth, which tied the game at that point. Other than that though, Matt Barnes looked great with his two shutout innings, Blaine Boyer arguably had his best relief appearance in a Red Sox uniform with his two shutout innings, and Craig Kimbrel did what Craig Kimbrel does by recording his 23rd save of the season by pitching a scoreless frame in the eleventh. Like I said, Hembree made a bad pitch to Tulo, but the bullpen kept the Red Sox in the game, which eventually led to an offensive burst in the eleventh.

Despite the win, the Red Sox bats left a lot to be desired when it came to scoring opportunities. They left a total of 41 runners on base, including 11 alone from Mitch Moreland, who had himself an awful night at the plate. The first runs of the game were scored by Deven Marrero and Mookie Betts, who scored on a Dustin Pedroia double, making it a one run game. The Red Sox would take the lead briefly in the sixth, when Deven Marrero drove in the tying run on a RBI single and Andrew Benintendi scored the go-ahead run with an RBI double. The bats would go silent until the top of the eleventh, until Xander Bogaerts came up clutch with a key RBI single that scored Hanley Ramirez from third and gave the Red Sox the lead. Deven Marrero would continue on the good day he had at the plate by driving in key insurance runs on another RBI single, and that was all Craig Kimbrel needed to shut the lights off on the Blue Jays.

Good way to start the road trip, obviously. Chris Sale is on the mound today, John Farrell will not be managing today, Red Sox should win their third straight game today.

Ten games over .500 for the first time this season, also.

45 down, ? to go. 

Here’s who I have in this year’s #ASG on the National League side.

Yesterday, I gave my picks for who I think will be an American League All-Star. Today, I’ll list who I think should represent the National League in this year’s Midsummer Classic in Miami. As I did yesterday, I’ll construct the rosters like the way they were in 2016.

Starting pitchers:
Sale vs. Scherzer

(No particular order)
Pitchers:
Clayton Kershaw
Carlos Martinez
Zack Greinke
Gio Gonzalez
Robbie Ray
Ivan Nova
Stephen Strasburg
Jacob deGrom

Relievers:
Kenley Jansen
Greg Holland
Wade Davis
Corey Knebel
Felipe Rivero

Starters:
C Buster Posey
1B Ryan Zimmerman
2B Daniel Murphy
3B Nolan Arenado
SS Zack Cozart
OF Bryce Harper
OF Marcell Ozuna
OF Charlie Blackmon

Reserves:
C Tyler Flowers
C JT Realmuto
1B Paul Goldschmidt
1B Joey Votto
2B Josh Harrison
3B Travis Shaw
3B Jake Lamb
SS Corey Seager
OF Adam Duvall
OF Giancarlo Stanton
OF Cody Bellinger

Potential snubs/ fan vote candidates:
1B Eric Thames
2B DJ LeMahieu
3B Justin Turner
SS Chris Owings
OF Jay Bruce

I know I left out some teams but, whatever. Let me know if you have any thoughts…

twitter.com/brendan_camp

RECAP: David Price pitches seven quality innings; #RedSox take series from Twins in 6-3 win.

For the first time in exactly two weeks, the Red Sox have won a series. The Twins came into Boston as a first place team, and they leave as a team that is most likely going to be out of contention by September. That’s not a jab at the Twins, it’s just the truth for a team that has one of the worst Run Differentials in baseball. David Price made his seventh start of the season for the Red Sox, and it was another solid outing for the southpaw. Another quality start, Price’s final line looks like this: 7 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, and 7 K’s. Despite that fourth inning, this was clearly one of his better starts. It wasn’t lights out stuff, but I don’t think the Red Sox need that from Price all the time in order to succeed. He had 100 pitches after 6, so it was surprising to see him come out for the seventh, luckily for Manager John, that decision did not backfire. Joe Kelly got the call for the eighth, and all he did was pitch another scoreless outing, his 22nd in a row, NBD. Lastly, you know the drill. Save situation, Kimbrel available, Kimbrel gets the save, his 22nd of the season, most in the American League.

By the time the Red Sox took their first at bats, they were already trailing. By the time they scored their first run, they came into their half of that inning down by three. Mookie Betts got the scoring started with his thirteenth home run of the season. This home run was important for two reasons, first, it’s the three-year anniversary of when Mookie Betts got called to the bigs by the Red Sox, and it could help get him more votes to start in the All-Star Game. (Check out my roster predictions here) In the fifth, the Red Sox took the lead and did not look back. Jackie Bradley Jr., Deven Marrero, and Mookie Betts drove in a total of three runs. Hanley Ramirez tacked on another run in the six when he launched his eleventh home run of the season over the center field wall. Linsanity struck in the seventh, as Tzu-Wei Lin nearly hit his first career home run. Unfortunately, the ball did not go far enough, but Lin still hit his first career triple. Deven Marrero drove him in on an RBI double, and that was all the Red Sox needed. I mentioned JBJ earlier, but I just want to commend him for his three-hit game and how he has turned around his season at the plate. On June 1st, his BA was only at .226, but after today, it’s all the way up to a solid .272.

Big 10 game road trip ahead before the All-Star break. First up, Toronto and Doug Fister is making his first road start for the Red Sox. The Blue Jays looked like they were going to be a bottom feeder the last time the Red Sox were in Toronto, but they have come back and are now more of a mediocre team.

44 down, ? to go. 

Also, sup?

Feelin' some kind of way. 💪 - #VoteRedSox (@redsox)

It’s the last day to #VoteRedSox, so here’s who I’d have playing for the AL in this year’s ASG.

On July 11th, baseball’s best will be taking center stage for the 88th edition of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game. Today is the last day for fans to vote, so I thought I’d give you guys who I think should make it for the American League team this year, along with the starting pitchers. (In no particular order)

Starting pitchers:
Sale vs. Scherzer

American League Roster (constructed like it was in 2016):
Pitchers:
Jason Vargas
Corey Kluber
Ervin Santana
Luis Severino

Relievers:
Craig Kimbrel
Brandon Kintzler
Dellin Betances
Will Harris
Alex Colome
Brad Brach
Andrew Miller
Roberto Osuna
Ken Giles

Starting lineup:
C Salvador Perez
1B: Eric Hosmer
2B: Jose Altuve
3B: Miguel Sano
SS: Carlos Correa
DH: Nelson Cruz
OF: Aaron Judge
OF: George Springer
OF: Avi Garcia

Reserves:
C Gary Sanchez
C: Brian McCann
1B: Yonder Alonso
2B: Dustin Pedroia
3B: Mike Moustakas
SS Xander Bogaerts
SS Elvis Andrus
OF Mookie Betts
OF Khris Davis
OF Aaron Hicks
DH Corey Dickerson

Potential snubs / fan vote candidates:
1B Justin Smoak
1B Logan Morrison
3B Jose Ramirez
2B Jonathan Schoop
OF Justin Upton

Let me know if you have any thoughts. NL Roster should be coming tomorrow.

twitter.com/brendan_camp

 

 

RECAP: #RedSox can only muster one run against Twins in frustrating 4-1 loss.

After winning two consecutive games for the first time in about two weeks, the Red Sox failed to get to three straight wins on Wednesday night. Rick Porcello was outpitched by 24 year-old Adalberto Mejia, a rookie pitcher for the Twins who was only making the eleventh start of his career. Porcello did not have himself an awful night, it wasn’t as good as his last start, but he wasn’t getting hit around or anything like that. He went six innings, allowed six hits and four earned while walking two and K’ing six. The first inning was rough, the Twins scored half of their runs on consecutive RBI hits, and that was it until the sixth. Porcello got into a nice rhythm, limiting the Twins to two hits over the next four innings he pitched. Similar to the first, the sixth inning was rough for Porcello, as a lead-off walk resulted in a two-run blast off the bat of Max Kepler, which doubled the deficit to four runs. Porcello’s day would end after he escaped the sixth without giving up anything else. Despite all the struggles he has gone through in 2017, I will give Porcello these two things;First, the run support he got last year was outstanding, and it simply has not been there for him this season, which I’m sure has some psychological effect on him while he’s on the mound. Secondly, he has consistently gone moderately deep into his starts, as in only one of his seventeen starts has Porcello failed to at least pitch six full innings. So, at the very least, he is limiting some of the workload for the bullpen in his starts.

Speaking of the bullpen, the group of guys who got the call tonight kept the Red Sox in the game over the last three innings. Heath Hembree, Robby Scott, and Matt Barnes combined to only allow the Twins to reach base three times total from the seventh to the ninth.

Like I said in the first few sentences, Twins starter Adalberto Mejia was great in the 5.2 innings he pitched. He didn’t allow a run, and the only run the Red Sox scored came off Tyler Duffey in the seventh. They had plenty of opportunities, leaving a total of eleven runners on base Wednesday night. In the one inning they scored a run they had the bases loaded with only one out, but could only score once on a Xander Bogaerts RBI ground out. It even looked like they could have done something in the ninth, but left the tying run on deck when Bogaerts struck out to end the game.

With David Price starting to come into his own and pitching tomorrow, the Red Sox have a legitimate chance to win their first series since two Sundays ago in Houston.

43 down, ? to go. 

RECAP: Drew Pomeranz and Christian Vazquez lead the way for #RedSox in long 9-2 win.

I live about 20 miles away from Fenway Park, so when I turned on my television around 7, I was surprised to see the game was delayed. That first system that rolled through didn’t really affect me, but it affected Boston, as the game did not start until 8 PM. Drew Pomeranz made the start for the Red Sox, and under unusual circumstances, he had a solid night. The southpaw rolled through the first two innings, retiring all six Twins he faced. After another delay that lasted more than an hour, it was surprising to see him come back out for the third. Although not as sharp as before the delay, Pomeranz got the job done, escaping a few jams along the way to his seventh victory of 2017. The only run he gave up came in the fifth, but great defense from Christian Vazquez limited the damage. This is the third outing in a row where Pomeranz has gone more than five innings while allowing two or fewer earned runs. If he keeps this up, the boost he gives this rotation is huge.

The Red Sox bullpen didn’t have to do much to keep the Twins out of the game. By the time Blaine Boyer took the mound in the sixth, the Red Sox had already built a 6-1 lead. Boyer got hit, but he escaped his two innings of work without giving up a run. Fernando Abad was responsible for the eighth and ninth, and he ended the game while giving up the second run of the game for the Twins.

Offensively, the only starter who didn’t get a hit was Andrew Benintendi, but he still reached base with an intentional walk in the fifth. The big stars of the night, in my opinion, were Christian Vazquez and Chris Young, who accounted for five of the seven runs driven in by Red Sox hitters. Vazquez hit his first home run of the season in the second, a two-run shot that gave them the lead. Chris Young also went deep, blasting his fourth home run of the season in the sixth, a three-run shot that secured this win. Dustin Pedroia also had a noteworthy performance at the plate, recording three hits and reaching base in all four of his at-bats. The Twins bullpen is one of the worst in baseball, and the Red Sox took full advantage of that, scoring seven times in the six innings a Twins reliever was on the mound.

This is the first time in nearly two weeks where the Red Sox have won consecutive games. With two more against the Twins, they can complete their first sweep since they swept the Rangers on May 25th.

Also, the Yankees blew a 3-1 lead they had entering the bottom of the eighth against the White Sox, so the Red Sox now have sole possession of first place.

43 down, ? to go.